Many elements of smart space technology were already theoretically possible, but integrating sensors and smart cameras, for example, was notoriously demanding in terms of time, effort, and resources. What’s taken it from futuristic to feasible is a new breed of network and smart devices that don’t require days or weeks of coding to gain minimal results – they just connect and go. Leading the way in this new era is Cisco Meraki, who’ve used their secure wireless networking smarts to forge ahead of the pack.
It effectively unifies the physical and digital worlds. Using connected smart devices including cameras and sensors, a smart space gathers the data they produce and analyses the information to gain insight. That might be used to better understand and manage footfall, room usage and capacity, to create personalised communications for employees and customers, or to safeguard equipment. The technology can be used to reduce energy use – in fact, enterprises that use IoT-enabled sensors and smart devices reported energy savings of 70% over three years1. Given the impact of rising energy costs, and the increasing drive to reduce environmental impact, that outcome is hard to ignore.
One of the most exciting parts of our business is seeing the many ways that our customers innovate with new technologies. For one, the focus may be on enhancing health and safety by monitoring conditions within a corporate office, and ensuring comfortable temperatures and an appropriate population density. In another organisation, the immediate need may centre on protecting critical equipment from temperature and humidity changes, leaking pipes, and water damage. Or, as the City of Adelaide has shown, smart technology and IoT can even be used to reduce traffic congestion on major roads. To learn more about this innovative project, click here to read the news story.
What we’re seeing, though, is that once smart space technology is put in the hands of the innovators of the IT teams, new ideas emerge fast. Want to personalise a more meaningful communication to a customer? Or perhaps to design a contactless point-of-sale experience? Maybe even to have an uncanny ability to position staff exactly where they are needed at the right moment to provide the best service? Organisations in a wide array of sectors are doing all this and more. They’re understanding better how people navigate their public and business spaces and improving their design in response.
Smart spaces allow organisations to create more secure areas where needed, and to understand in real time what happens when nobody is around. Whether an operational mine site, a warehouse, or an office, it is possible to maintain control whether or not an area is staffed, and to automate security processes to make it easier for staff to access permitted areas. In a hospital, for example, assets, staff, even clinicians and patients can be tracked to enhance their safety, with everything automatically integrated into a single point of control. If anyone attempts to access a secured area without authority, or to remove an item of medical imaging equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars, a real time alert means security can act fast to shut down the problem.
After a hugely successful live event in Singapore with IoT experts and thought leaders, Meraki have released an on-demand series (10 mini episodes) showcasing the event. Learn about the benefits of cloud technology, IoT and smart spaces as well as the future of the industry and emerging technologies! Learn how to transform your place into a smart space and reduce costs, drive new insights and spearhead efficiency. Register here to get access to Meraki’s smart space series.
While access can be limited to suit each organisation’s needs, the potential is definitely unlimited. Download our smart spaces guide here and find inspiration to transform your own workplace.